Luke 12:50
But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(50) I have a baptism to be baptized with.—Here we have a point of contact with the words spoken to the sons of Zebedee. (See Notes on Matthew 20:22, and Mark 10:38.) The baptism of which the Lord now speaks is that of one who is come into deep waters, so that the floods pass over him, over whose head have passed and are passing the waves and billows of many and great sorrows. Yet here, too, the Son of Man does not shrink or draw back. What He felt most keenly, in His human nature, was the pain, the constraint of expectation. He was, in that perfect humanity of His, harassed and oppressed, as other sufferers have been, by the thought of what was coming, more than by the actual suffering when it came.

12:41-53 All are to take to themselves what Christ says in his word, and to inquire concerning it. No one is left so ignorant as not to know many things to be wrong which he does, and many things to be right which he neglects; therefore all are without excuse in their sin. The bringing in the gospel dispensation would occasion desolations. Not that this would be the tendency of Christ's religion, which is pure, peaceable, and loving; but the effect of its being contrary to men's pride and lusts. There was to be a wide publication of the gospel. But before that took place, Christ had a baptism to be baptized with, far different from that of water and the Holy Spirit. He must endure sufferings and death. It agreed not with his plan to preach the gospel more widely, till this baptism was completed. We should be zealous in making known the truth, for though divisions will be stirred up, and a man's own household may be his foes, yet sinners will be converted, and God will be glorified.A baptism - See the notes at Matthew 20:22.

Am I straitened - How do I earnestly desire that it were passed! Since these sufferings "must" be endured, how anxious am I that the time should come! Such were the feelings of the Redeemer in view of his approaching dying hour. We may learn from this:

1. That it is not improper to "feel deeply" at the prospect of dying. It is a sad, awful, terrible event; and it is impossible that we should look at it aright "without" feeling - scarcely without trembling.

2. It is not improper to desire that the time should come, and that the day of our release should draw nigh, Philippians 1:23. To the Christian, death is but the entrance to life; and since the pains of death "must" be endured, and since they lead to heaven, it matters little how soon he passes through these sorrows, and rises to his eternal rest.

50. But … a baptism, &c.—clearly, His own bloody baptism, first to take place.

how … straitened—not, "how do I long for its accomplishment," as many understand it, thus making it but a repetition of Lu 12:49; but "what a pressure of spirit is upon Me."

till it be accomplished—till it be over. Before a promiscuous audience, such obscure language was fit on a theme like this; but oh, what surges of mysterious emotion in the view of what was now so near at hand does it reveal!

This baptism, spoken of here by our Saviour, is the same mentioned Matthew 20:22,23, and can be understood of nothing but his passion, the accomplishment of which he hints us was to be before the fire (before mentioned) would blaze up on the earth. Concerning this he saith he was straitened till it was accomplished: not that he willed the influencing of the heart of Judas to betray him, the heart of Pilate to condemn him, or the hearts of the wicked Jews to accuse, condemn, and crucify him; but he willed these events, for the manifestation of the glory of his Father, in the redemption of the world by him. As the woman big with child heartily wishes that the hour of her travail were come and over, not for the pain’s sake, which she must endure, but for her own ease’ sake, and the joy she should have of a child born into the world. But I have a baptism to be baptized with,.... Not water baptism, for he had been baptized with that already; nor the baptism of the Spirit, which he had also received without measure; though the Ethiopic version reads it actively, "with which I shall baptize", referring doubtless to that; but the baptism of his sufferings is meant, which are compared to a baptism, because of the largeness and abundance of them; he was as it were immersed, or plunged into them; and which almost all interpreters observe on the text, and by which they confess the true import and primary signification of the word used; as in baptism, performed by immersion, the person is plunged into water, is covered with it, and continues awhile under it, and then is raised out of it, and which being once done, is done no more; so the sufferings of Christ were so many and large, that he was as it were covered with them, and he continued under them for a time, and under the power of death and the grave, when being raised from thence, he dies no more, death hath no more dominion over him. This baptism he "had", there was a necessity of his being baptized with it, on his Father's account; it was his will, his decree, and the command he enjoined him as Mediator; it was the portion he allotted him, and the cup he gave unto him: and on his own part, he obliged himself unto it, in the counsel and covenant of peace; for this purpose he came into this world, and had substituted himself in the room and stead of his people; and it was necessary on their part, for their sins could not be atoned for without sufferings, nor without the sufferings of Christ; moreover, the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament concerning them, made them necessary:

and how am I straitened until it be accomplished: these words express both the trouble and distress Christ was in, at the apprehension of his sufferings as man; which were like to the distress of persons, closely besieged by an enemy; or rather of a woman, whose time of travail draws nigh, when she dreads it, and yet longs to have it over: and likewise they signify, his restless desire to have them accomplished; not that he desired that Judas should betray him, or the Jews crucify him, as these were sins of theirs; nor merely his sufferings as such; but that thereby the justice of God might be satisfied, the law might be fulfilled, and the salvation of his people be obtained: and this eager desire of his, he had shown in various instances, and did show afterwards; as in his ready compliance with his Father's proposal in eternity; in his frequent appearances in human form before his incarnation; in sending one message after another, to give notice of his coming; in his willingness to be about his Father's business, as soon as possible; in rebuking Peter, when he would have dissuaded him from all thoughts of suffering: in going to Jerusalem on his own accord, in order to suffer there; in his earnest wish to eat the last passover with his disciples; in the joy that possessed him, when Judas was gone out, in order to betray him; in stopping in the midst of his sermon, lest he should overrun, or outslip the time of meeting him in the garden, John 14:30 in his going thither, and willingly surrendering himself up into the hands of his enemies; and in cheerfully laying down his life: all which arose from the entire love he had for the persons he died for; and because it was his Father's will, and his glory was concerned herein, and his own glory also was advanced thereby; moreover, his death was the life of others, and the work required haste.

But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 12:50. δέ] places in face of the εἰ ἤδη ἀνήφθη! just wished for, what is still to happen first: But I have a baptism, to be baptized with. This baptism is His deep passion awaiting Him, into which He is to be plunged (comp. on Mark 10:38); and He has this baptism as the destiny ordained for Him, and consequently appropriated to Him.

καὶ πῶς συνέχομαι κ.τ.λ.] and how am I distressed (comp. Luke 8:37; Dem. 1484. 23, 1472. 18) till the time that it shall be accomplished! A true and vivid expression of human shrinking at the presentment of the agonies that were imminent, similar to what we find in Gethsemane and at John 12:27. It was a misapprehension of the human feeling of Jesus and of the whole tenor of the context, to make out of συνέχομαι an urgency of longing (ὡσανεὶ ἀγωνιῶ διὰ τὴν βραδυτῆτα, Euthymius Zigabenus, comp. Theophylact). So also de Wette and Bleek, who wrongly appeal to Php 1:23. See on the passage, also on 2 Corinthians 5:14. Jesus does not long for and hasten to death, but He submits Himself to and obeys the counsel of God (comp. John 12:27; Php 2:8; Romans 5:19, and elsewhere), when His hour is come (John 13:1 and elsewhere). Ewald takes the question as making in sense a negative assertion: I must not make myself anxious (comp. on πῶς, Luke 12:56), I must in all patience allow this worst suffering to befall me. This agrees with Ewald’s view of τί θέλω κ.τ.λ., Luke 12:49; but, according to our view, it does not correspond with the parallelism. And Jesus actually experienced anguish of heart (comp. 2 Corinthians 2:4, συνοχὴ καρδίας) at the thought of His passion, without detracting from His patience and submissiveness.Luke 12:50. βάπτισμα: before the fire can be effectually kindled there must come for the kindler His own baptism of blood, of which therefore Jesus naturally speaks here with emotion.—πῶς συνέχομαι, how am I pressed on every side, either with fervent desire (Euthy., Theophy., De Wette, Schanz, etc.), or with fear, shrinking from the cup (Meyer, J. Weiss, Holtzmann, Hahn).50. a baptism to be baptized with] Matthew 20:22.

how am I straitened
] i.e. How heavy is the burden that rests upon me; how vast are the obstacles through which I have to press onwards.

It is the same spirit that spoke in “What thou doest, do quickly.” The word is found in 2 Corinthians 5:14; Php 1:23.

till it be accomplished] John 19:28; John 19:30.Luke 12:50. Βάπτισμα δε) But a baptism, and that too a baptism completely consummated, must precede the fire, and the kindling of it.—ἔχω βαπτισθῆναι) Comp. Mark 10:38.—πῶς συνέχομαι, how am I straitened [severely pressed]) John 12:27 [“Now is My soul troubled,” etc.]; Matthew 26:37. The nearer His passion approached, the greater were the emotions by which He was affected. The preceding formula, What will I? indicates the mere will and inclination by itself; but the words, How am I straitened (with which comp. Php 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:14), implies the will struggling forth through opposing objects and obstructions.—τελεσθῇ, it shall have been accomplished [finished, consummated]) Comp. John 19:30 [τετέλεσται, It is finished or consummated].Verse 50. - But I have a baptism to he baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! The baptism he here speaks of was the baptism of pain and suffering and death - what we call the Passion of the Lord. He knew it must all be gone through, to bring about the blessed result for which he left his home in heaven; but he looked on to it, nevertheless, with terror and shrinking. "He is under pressure," says Godet, "to enter into this suffering because he is in haste to get out of it, mournfully impatient to have done with a painful task." This passage of the discourse of Jesus here has been called "a prelude of Gethsemane." Am Istraitened

See on Luke 4:38, and compare 2 Corinthians 5:14; Philippians 1:23. Wyc., constrained.

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